The inaugural USA Hockey Blind Hockey Classic will take place Oct, 22-24, 2021, at the Centene Community Ice Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis blind hockey program will play host to the inaugural event.
One of the fastest growing segments of disabled hockey, blind hockey features an adapted puck that makes noise and is both bigger and slower than a traditional puck. Players’ levels of vision range from legally blind – approximately 10 percent vision or less – to totally blind.
Custom three foot high nets are used rather than the traditional four foot nets to keep the puck low to the ice so it can make noise and be tracked aurally.
Teams must complete one pass in the attacking zone prior to being able to score. This provides both the low vision defense and the goalie an extra opportunity to track the puck. An on-ice official uses a different whistle to indicate that a pass has been completed and the attacking team is eligible to score.
The Flyers Warriors will play host to the 2021 USA Hockey Warrior Classic, Nov. 4-7, in New Jersey. Games will be staged at two rinks: the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, and Hollydell Ice Arena in Sewell, New Jersey.
The event brings together warrior hockey teams from around the country to participate in a weekend of hockey that is dedicated to U.S. military veterans with a disability who also play ice hockey. To be eligible, all players must be or have been veterans and members of the Armed Forces and meet a minimum disability rating.
The 11th annual USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL, will be staged Nov. 18-21 at the Ice Vault Arena in Wayne, New Jersey. The four-day event, which features sled hockey teams associated with NHL clubs, will be hosted by the New Jersey Devils, who will be participating in the event for the first time in 2021.
First staged in 2010, the inaugural Classic featured four teams and 46 players and has since grown to 30-plus teams and over 350 skaters.
In 2019, the St. Louis Blues played host to the event, which included 31 teams in five divisions competing at Centene Community Ice Center. The Boston Bruins sled program was crowned the Tier I champion, while the Pittsburgh Penguins won Tier II, Tampa Bay Lightning took Tier III, Detroit Red Wings secured Tier IV and the Chicago Blackhawks brought home the Tier V title.
The third annual USA Hockey Special Hockey Classic will take place December 3-5, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Blue Jackets Special Hockey program will serve as the local host for the event.
The special hockey discipline is intended to give people with a wide range of cognitive and developmental disabilities the chance to play the sport of ice hockey in an environment that is adapted to their level of ability.
Special hockey athletes play upright and in most cases offsides, icing, penalties etc., are not part of game play. Special hockey emphasizes fun through teamwork, social interaction, and improving the quality of life through on- and off-ice activities.